Monday, June 3, 2013

7th Hat Yai International Marathon 2013 - Third Time's A Charm... Definitely!!! XD

Happy Monday to all my fellow brothers and sisters, running bloggers and my silent readers (if any), hehee... Since this coming June will be packed with lots of running events every single weekend, starting from next week, so I must give my sincere race review report on the recent Hat Yai International Marathon 2013 asap then. Fyi, I've been to Hat Yai and Songkhla twice during my studies in Penang before. I went with my friends by car. I would never thought I would be running on this wonderful city one fine day.  

It all started when I 1st tweeted about my decision to join the Le Sabuns Ultra contingent to Hatyai International Marathon after the posponement of BIM 2013 due to the GE13. Razinah immediately replied my tweet and agreed to join the bandwagon so I went straight away transfered the bus ticket payment and booke my room at Tune Hotel Hat Yai. It will be our official hotel for most of us during our Hat Yai trip. I even bought the flight tix back although it was  a tad bit pricey already, rm200. T_T

Actually I was looking forward to do FM in Hat Yai after reading Deo's blog about it last year. I knew it's gonna be a flat route all the way but I wasn't aware of how mental it's gonna be after the U-Turn loop around 24.5 mark. Let's not go there just yet, shall we? Must follow the sequence 1st... Sabar2, hehee =P

Thurday, 23 May 2013 - The Journey Begins...
The day has finally arrived. We've been chit-chatting in the fb chat room about our trip in detail as this is my 1st time running in Thailand and my road trip to Hat Yai. I was feeling half hearted to go for the trip on that day because I wasn't ready physically and mentally to run my 3rd FM there. With my under mileage  preparation n lots of back-2-back events the last 2 weeks before this really gave some pressure on my poor knees. To make things worse, My left eye started to get this stingy watery red blood shot on that Thursday morning. not a good sign for me! But nonetheless, the show must go on, I said to myself. So, ready or not, here comes Red Eyed  Momma! Hahaa...
My 1st road trip bus ticket to Hap Chai... LOL!

All 8 of us were the 1st team to depart on that Thursday night. Sifu Ultra Ray was the Chief in charge, followed by Ultra Kam, Kak Eena, Kak Nannoor n HGH, Abg Ibrahim, Aniza the mountaineer, Razinah the running doc (6 FMs to date woo, dun play2...) and yours truly. =D

Our bus was delayed almost 1 hour and it was a super comfy ride too, although it was a bit cold along the way. Luckily I had my green jacket on  and I slept like a baby when I took Inah's flu pill.
When I woke up, we were already arrived at the RnR stop before the Malaysia-Thailand border. It was around 5.30 am. Since it was a Vesak Day, many Malaysians thronged the Malaysia-Thailand Immigration counters at the border. It took us almost 10 hours to reach Hat Yai after a series of naps along the way. Gosh! ZzzZz

Friday, 24 May 2013 - Sightseeing Day
Luv the super comfy n spacious Tune Hotel, Hat Yai... Did not expect  this at all!
Once we've checked in early before 2 pm (RM 12.00), we went to have the breakfast aka brunch at the nearest Thai Muslim restaurant. The price was pretty steep. Thanks to Kam for his generosity treat. After that, I just relaxed at my room. I was so surprised to find that the room here was way bigger and spacious than Tune Hotels back in Malaysia! Super comfy too I bet!

In front of a Standing Buddha in the Vitarka Mudra stance up here at Hay Yai Municipal Park..
Here got  mini cable car too, you know...
After having plenty time to relax for a while, we went for a sightseeing ride around Hat Yai city on the powerful tuktuk. We decided to go to Hat Yai Park to see the Big Smiling Buddha shrine. It was an uphill climb and I could see the 360 degree view of Hat Yai from the peak. There's also a Hat Yai Cable Car Station at the peak that goes to another temple, located on the top of another hill. We took our sweet time on the hill by taking some pictures and relaxing since it was cloudy.
Sardinized in Uncle Jo's powerful tuktuk... Naik bukit macam Pajero woo... Smoking!  (Credits to Kam)
Le Sabuns Ultra delegates to Hat Yai, (from left) Inah, Ibrahim, Razif, Eena, Kam, Yours Truly, Aniza n Nannoor with the background of Hat Yai's  cityscape (Credits to Inah)

Come come, cheap2 kerabu... Only at Klonghae Market =D
My mixed seafood omelette... Best eaten while still hot... Yummeh! #ohmycalories! 
Later on, we went to the famous Klonghae Floating Market. Most of the women that cooked and sold the food on the sampans were Thai Muslim. I really love some of the unique Thai food that was very tasty and suited my taste buds hehe, although the price was getting more expensive, unlike my last visit two years ago. However, the Siamese mango sticky rice was the best selling delicacy at the market. Plus it was cheaper (RM3.50) and still creamy yummeh! *Drooled
The cheapest and yummiest Siamese mango sticky rice ever! 
 After I bought one of the mango sticky rice, we went back to the hotel and relaxed. I dozed off early that night after having my fried chicken with sticky rice, which I bought earlier on at the border. ZzzZ!  

Saturday, 25 May 2013 - Racekit Collection Day
We started our day with a hearty breakfast at Salma Restaurant, since all other restaurants were full packed with Malaysians having their breakfast. We were joined by the 2nd team consisted of Azri, Kak Lily and Erra. I had my Nasi Lemak Singgorah, the so called "must try" signature. Portion wise, it was quite small and I barely tasted the Thai chicken green curry. Not worth with the price. Should have eaten chicken murtabak instead huhu.... 
Nasi Lemak Singgorah, Nothing to shout about, cukupla buat alas perut jer hehe...
After that off we took a tuktuk to the Jiranakorn Stadium, located not far from the City Centre to collect our racekit. Since I've already registered online, I just went straight way to collect mine. I was given the running vest, bib number and a timing chip, which I requested to change to a running tee afterwards. I also bought an imitated running shorts and beach shorts too at a very cheap price. (RM 10-25) =D

We went to have our lunch in Kedai Pokok Mangga to savour the authentic Thai seafood delicacies. The clear soup Tom Yum was the bomb of the day, followed by the fried chicken, steamed Asian seabass and mango salad. The mouth watering tom yum reminded me of my trip to Phuket last year.... 
The big family during the luncheon @ carboloading... The legendary Azlan Aiman and his friends also joined us
Siakap stim, not that bad lah hehee....
Clear  Tom Yum Soup - not too spicy but sour to perfection...  Totally delish!!!
In the evening, we went back to the stadium for the carbo loading session. We were a bit late as there wasn't much food left. So I decided to have a Shiitake mushroom chicken soup. Not bad at all. We didn't miss the opportunity to take picture with the forever stunningly gorgeous Thida, the ever cheerful Thai Ultra Marathoner Lady. The atmosphere was lovely with some people were singing some Thai songs on the stage.

Kak Eena and I posing for the camera during our carboloading session
Le Sabuns Ultra Malaysian delegates with Thida... 
Sawadee... I was at the Land of Smiles, Hat Yai... Hehee

We just had a light non spicy dinner at Kelantan Restaurant before we headed back to the hotel and hit the sack early, around 9pm.  Need to wake up around 2 am to prep up for the event. I woke up and nervously preparing all the necessities, especially my ORS Lemon Fizz Endurolite drink.I was the last person to reach the hotel lobby. Sigh.. Kalut much LOL! 

Sunday, 26 May 2013 - The Third Attempt
 Around 2.45 am we took a tuktuk to the starting venue. After depositing my bag and done my no. 1 business, I entered the stadium to do some light stretching and warm ups. There was a brass band leading the runners towards the starting line. We were flagged off on 3.30 am sharp with the confetti being blast.  But before that, we managed to take some pictures together just to shake off the jittery feeling. 
Happy faces in the tuktuk before the run, did not know what to expect still... (Credits to Kam) 
Photoshoot with the famous forever gorgeous Thida before the run... Looks like everybody adored n idolized her so much, including me... Muahahaa! XD (Credits to Kam)
Selfish picture of us at the stadium... EPIC pic definitely... =D (Credits to Kam) 
Took picture with the forever inspiring Super Mohan Marathon... He's my benchmark  cut-off time... LOL! 
Brass band marching circa 3.25 am (Credits to Kam)
As soon as I started to run, I could feel this sharp painful sensation around my shins. Feared that it might be a shin splint, I stopped after KM 3 to do some stretching to relax my shin and calve muscles. Luckily it went away for good after that! I increase my pace to catch up with the rest of the team. I ran along the dark road towards Klonghae Floating Market area for the 1st 10KM with Kak Nannoor and a Chinese guy. I tried to keep up my pace constantly and found myself pacing with a Thai uncle from there onwards. 

Same route just like last year... Looks easy n doable in the map... =P
The 42.195km Route, not that far from Songkhla already at the U-Turn. We can even run to Songkhla from Hat Yai, literally... LOL!
The route was super flat with a slight incline around KM20. The water stations were abundant along the route, every 2km with icy cold drinks and some sweet ORS too. I was surprised to see slices of mouth watering juicy watermelons were being served at KM14 and KM18. Super delish too! The green and white jelly were yummy too... I had to stop at every WS to drink the icy cold frangrant sweet syrup too =D

I was doing just fine along the flat route and kept on pacing with the same guy until the U-turn loop near 25 KM. It felt like forever to reach the designated u-turn. Thank goodness I had a pacer with me. Then it was started to get hotter and sunnier. That uncle sped off once  we reached the u-turn, while I tried to sustain my labi-labi pace. Luckily I was running with my back facing the sun. I kept on running along the shaded tarmac along the dreadful Hat Yai highway. It's all about mind over matter right now. So I kept on chanting some zikr just to keep my spirits high and all I could think was to finish this run asap so that I didn't have to be toasted that long.
Me pacing with this steady Uncle. No conversation along the route. The company that mattered the most!
(Credits to Kam) 
After KM 30, I was running like a sloth. My pace went down the drain because it was sooo freaking hot and my only motivation at that moment was to reach the next WS to keep myself hydrated, refueled my drinking bottles and poured some icy cold water on my head to cool off my body temperature. There was this auntie that overtook me at that point. o_O Such a speedy veteran I told you. I tried to keep calm, focused and muster all the strength that's left in my tank. The final 2.195 KM felt like forever to reach too since it was super microwave hot already and I almost resorted to walk along the last kms. Looks like I won't be finishing it under 5:30. Sob2... 

My finishing pose... Looked so fat in this pic... Must wear a slimming colour vest next time... LOL!!! 
Finally I stepped on the finishing mat in 5hours 47minutes and 17 seconds, (5:43:33 according to my Nike+ Apps). Yeayyy, that;s a PB, at last!!!! My 1st Sub6 finishing for me... Thank goodness! I was so ecstatic upon taking my finisher medal and tee that I went straight away to take the cold drinks, nice rice with omelette and chicken briyani. I knew I have to eat even though I was not that hungry at that time... Hehee.. 

Thai Chicken Briyani for lunch... 
All the sudden I noticed my packet filled with my remaining Baht money was missing. Might have slipped up when I was taking my iPhone out to take the pictures and walked around the venue afterwards. OMG! There goes my RM170, gone with the wind... That's the price I have to pay on that day. Pasti ada hikmah di sebalik semua ini, I said to myself. Sabar jela Aizat... T_T

With my inspiration beautiful marathoner, Thida Songjaroen...
7th Hat Yai Marathon - Checked in my wishlist.... Next SCKLM 2013 lak! 
Malaysian contingent at Hat Yai Marathon 2013 - Congratz to all of us, especially Sis Eena for her podium finisher, No. 4 tuh!!! Power!!!  (Credits to Abg Zainudin)

Then it was time to take post race group picture and I was lucky to take a picture with Thida, the 1st runner up in her women's 30-39 category. She's super gorgeous and super smoking fast too... Truly inspiring! Hehee... Need to lose more weight then.. Hehee...  Oh my recovery meal for dinner would be oyster omelette.... Super sinfully oily yummy... T..T

Catch of the day, one running tee, one finisher tee, one finisher medal for the price of RM50, loads of fun along the way!
Overall, for me our Hat Yai road trip was a success! Rombongan Cik Kiah memang sangat happening abes, riuh rendah nonstop, especially in the sardinized tuktuk through 3 dayS around the city tour. looking forward to run the 8th HatYai Marathon here next year and Songkhla too, perhaps! Oh, by the way, I forgot to congratulate Sis Eena Amir and her pacer, Ultra Ray for her no. 4 podium finisher... Respect! Now it's time for me to chillax and self rewarded myself with my island retreat @ escapade in Tioman. Love sunbathing, jungle trekking to the Asah Waterfalls and snorkling at Mukut Bay.  It was really awesome budget trip indeed! Fell in LOVE with Tioman, totally.... =P

That's all folks for now, need to train like hell for this coming Mizuno Wave Light Run this Sunday... No lemau2 mood occay! SCKLM 2013 is just around the corner lot too... @..@ Toodles! 

Setelah penat2 berlari memang wajib la kita berehat2 dan pampered ourselves with a Island retreat!!!! Woot2...



  1. Congrats on your PB!

    Lepas ni buat sub5 pulak kat SCKLM. :)

    1. Thanx Sis! Sub 5 xmampu lagik la, Sub5.30 insya Allah for SCKLM'13... provided plenty of trainings n tempo n speed works n less injuries interference... Hehee.... Have you registered Men's Health n Shape night run? It will sold out like a hot cakes again I bet hehe...

    2. not joining.

      I hv my eyes on other races in Sep. :-)

  2. congrats!
    envious of your holiday in Tioman thereafter, haha!!

    you lost only your money, i hope? no important documents or hotel keys...

    1. Thanx Yvonne, Tioman is local n near to KL, what, we can just go there anytime... LOL!

      Yup, only the money, hotel cards n passport were safe in the baggage deposit. should have left it there next time... T..T Well, u win some, u lose some right? Hehee

  3. Oh so her name is Thida. I'ce seen her a couple of times at Ipoh International run scoring her half marathon sub 2 hours. I thought then, " Who is this beautiful person?".
    Skarang baru tau hehe

    Anyway, congrats on your PB :)

    1. Yup, Thida the Ultra Marathoner... She did Sub 4:30 I think in Hat Yai, it's her training home ground, no wonder la kan...

      Thanx Doc for commenting my shabby humble blog. I used to follow your blog as a silent reader b4... Truly inspiring triathlete... ;)

    2. Triathlete? Silap blog kot..hehe.

      I'm just a regular runner. I don't even know how to swim :)

    3. Oh that one is miss jewel's blog... Yours is the running doctor one, suka baca entry kak tentang kejohanan olahraga KKM tuh... Besh2... Looking forward to meet u in person in any running event, Sis...

      Btw, samalah kita, xreti berenang gak... ;)

  4. Congrats Aizat.

    Next year sila datang, kedatangan akan diambil oleh abg Abby :)

    1. Oh tahun depan Abg Ray tak pegi ke? Ketua kumpulan sudah tukar kah? ;)

  5. Banyaknya
    Bestnyaaaa rehat kat Tioman! My only rehat these past 2 years ialah ke KK bersama kawan2. Sekali utk BIM, sekali lagi utk BIM-Tak-Jadi. Hehe.
    Congrats on your PB Aizat. I must work harder and harder lah. Why can't 'work harder' be pain free & doesn't come with muscle strain lah sprain la...

  6. Finally. I'm here. Nice write up! And congrats on the PB in the hot marathon! Let's have another road trip!

    1. Thanks Sis. Congrats to you too for your 4th placing... Yeahhh, kena plan another road trip nih soon... Getaway + runcation.. =D